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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - September 15, 2009

From: DeSoto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Identifying native grasses in DeSoto TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to plant my 1.5 acre yard in a native grass; there are already some grasses growing there. How do I identify this grass? Thanks

ANSWER:

We will give you two avenues for identifying the grasses you already have; some of which may be non-native and not what you want, but many will be native and work in well with your plans. Since you are in North Central Texas, Dallas County, go first to our Recommended Species, click on North Central Texas on the map, under "General Appearance" select "Grass/Grasslike." This will give you 13 grasses to look at, which you can do by clicking on the link on the list, which will take you to the page with information on that grass. Click on the thumbnail picture on the list, and you will go to a page of pictures of that grass. Click on any picture on that page and you will get an enlarged pictures. If you want to look at more grasses native to Texas, you can go to our Native Plant Database and follow pretty much the same procedure. The problem there is that this will give you 364 possibilities, many of them not growing naturally in North Central Texas at all.

If you are really interested in grass identification, check the Bibliography below for books you might purchase or find in the library, all on the subject of identification of grasses. Click on any title for more information and commercial availability of the book.

Finally, you can contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Urban Programs Dallas County, and inquire about information on local area grasses. If they give you a list, you can return to our database, searching on common or scientific names, to get more information. Remember, though, our database contains only plants native to North America, and many of the grasses you encounter may be non-native and even invasive, so you won't want to retain them in your garden. 

 

 

 

 

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Bibliography

Common Texas Grasses: An Illustrated Guide (1978) Gould, F. W.

Grasses of Southwestern United States (1993) Gould, F.W.

Grasses of Texas (1975) Gould, F. W.

Grasses of the Texas Hill Country (2006) Loflin, B & Loflin, S.

Grasslands (1985) Brown, L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography